A good ACCREDITED (ask to see accreditation if not posted or offered to be shown to you) obedience class is best for your pup once he/she reaches 16 weeks old and all vaccines including Rabies is completed. Talk to your vet and also look at local kennel clubs.
Puppy Training - Recommended Reading . . . Puppies
The following are books recommended for the owners of new puppies. Some of these books will take you right through beyond puppyhood and some you can use all through a dog’s life. Many are classics. Check your local library as often they will carry some of these books. Many books can be found on www.dogwise.com as well as are found on www.amazon.com . All have been used by those doing the recommendations:
Your Labrador Retriever Puppy Month By Month by Terry Albert and Debra Eldridge, DVM. guides new owners through their Lab pup's first year and beyond. Each chapter covers a month and includes sections on physical development, health, nutrition, grooming, social skills, behavior, training, and most important, just enjoying your new new Lab puppy. You'll learn about the important contribution the breeder makes to starting your pup out on the right paw, and how to continue the puppy's socialization and training once you bring him home.
How To Raise A Puppy You Can Live With by Clarice Rutherford and David Neil. This is an old standby and is considered a classic. It is available on Amazon and in some libraries. It is an Alpine Publication.
Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor (available on Amazon and is a paperback). Although this is not what is called a standard training book and is not about dogs per se, it is an excellent book on training --- I first heard about it years ago from an obedience magazine and have recommended it to many and read it innumerable times.
The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller. This is founded on the principles used in Karen Pryor’s “Don’t Shoot the Dog!” and dolphin training. The person that recommended this said she starts puppies at 4-5 weeks using the “shaping behavior” principles.
Mother Knows Best by Carol Lee Benjamin. (available on Amazon) I have used this and recommended it and have loaned it out so many times that I now no longer know where it is! You can pull up other books on dog training by the author as well. This book recommends practical methods of training your dog.
Surviving Your Dog’s Adolescence by Carol Lea Benjamin. She is an award winning author of multiple training books.
How To Teach A New Dog Old Tricks by Ian Dunbar (available on Amazon). The author gives seminars and has founded training classes based on his methods. He has many good ideas. Dunbar, in addition, has brochures on dealing with specific problems dogs may have.
The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey (available on Amazon) This book was recommended by an obedience instructor who has an outstanding reputation.
Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete. This has been around for many years and offers a very positive training method. This was revised in 2011 and is considered a classic.
How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend by the Monks of New Skete. Another classic. Revised in 2002.
The Evans Guide for Housetraining Your Dog by Job Michael Evans (part of the Monks of New Skete group).
Puppy Primer by Brenda Scidmore & Patricia McConnell. Excellent reviews.
Retriever Working Certificate Training by Clarice Rutherford, Barbara Branstad and Sandra Whicker. This is an excellent book for preparing and training a dog and handler for the WC program.
Retriever Puppy Training – The Right Start for Hunting by Loveland and Rutherford. Alpine Publication. Highly recommended.
The Howell Book of Puppy Raising by Charlotte Schwartz.
Puppy Problems? No Problem and also Get Connected With Your Dog by Brenda Aloff. These come with a DVD.
From the Ground Up: Agility Foundation Training for Puppies and Beginner Dogs by Kim Collins.
Playtraining Your Dog by Patricia Gail Burnham. This is very old and many of the obedience sections are out of date if you are going to compete. But---it has excellent information and Gail has a marvelous philosophy re dogs and dog training. It has been recommended over the years by many persons.
Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson.
The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell.
If A Dog’s Prayers were Answered, Bones Would Rain From The Sky by Suzanne Clothier. This is based on understanding behavior to help deepen relationships with dogs.
Dogs by Raymond and Lorna Coppinger. This is a well-written book about understanding the origins of the canine, its behavior and evolution.
Dog Training for Dummies by Jack and Wendy Volhard. It is available online and in every bookstore. It is in its third addition. This has common sense advice on puppy-raising; dog training; what foods to feed; and many other subjects. The authors have been teaching novice dog owners for fifty years and are good solid people.
Puppy Development by Pat Hastings and Erin Van Rouse. This is available from Dogfolk Enterprises at www.dogfolk.com.
Sound Beginnings Retriever Training by Jackie Mertens. This is excellent and available through http://www.ybsmedia.com/ of 1-800-848-5963. The author has raised and trained many an outstanding retriever.
Training a Retriever Puppy by Bill Hillmann. This DVD has had outstanding reviews by many professional dog trainers. Available through http://www.hawkeyemedia.net/
The Fetch Command by Bill Hillman. Another excellent DVD on training young dogs to retrieve. Available through www.hawkeyemedia.net
Training your Pet with the Electric Collar the “Soft Collar” Method for All Breeds by Bill Hillmann. A DVD. Understanding how to create an electronic signal between you and your dog. Available through www.hawkeyemedia.com
The best way to get many of these books is to go to http://www.amazon.com/. Sometimes you can find them in the book areas at dog shows. In addition, you can Google them and see if you can find them through that search engine. Many of the dog magazines also include a “books available section” and that is another source.